|Submitted||Nov. 4, 2019|
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To Whom It May Concern:
Northeastern University’s School of Social Justice and Health Equity is interested in the state’s prescription monitoring program, the ND Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. Specifically, we want to learn more about law enforcement access to the database, the use of an algorithm that produces a risk assessment score to analyze its contents, and the data access and retention rules governing the system. We understand the algorithm was produced by the corporation Appriss Health. In order to permit the public to understand how the North Dakota Board of Pharmacy is using the ND Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and how it impacts public health and civil liberties in North Dakota, Northeastern University’s Health in Justice Action Lab is making this request under the North Dakota Open Records Law § 84-712 et seq., for the following records:
1. Any and all memoranda of understanding between the North Dakota Board of Pharmacy and any outside entity regarding the ND Prescription Drug Monitoring Program;
2. Any and all records of de-identified red flag algorithm outputs (e.g. provider red flag, pharmacy red flag, 40 MED red flag) and patient behavioral red flags (e.g., anxious patient demeanor, distance between prescriber and dispenser) with prescriber/dispenser training documentation on how to address the red flags;
3. Any and all research, technical reports, or internal audits that evaluate the Appriss risk assessment tool’s effectiveness or performance;
4. Any and all records including information about the algorithm that determines risk scores in WORx, including but not limited to its source code, developer documentation, and operator manuals (e.g. Narx Score, Overdose Risk Score);
5. Any record showing the number of patients in the ND Prescription Drug Monitoring Program by quarter and year (2006-present);
6. Any and all records containing North Dakota Board of Pharmacy analysis of whether and/or how the ND Prescription Drug Monitoring Program has impacted public health in North Dakota (e.g. decrease or increase in overdose rates, “doctor shopping,” prescribing volume, etc.) over time;
7. All records showing how the number of times law enforcement entities or individuals have requested information or records from the ND Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, or made electronic queries of the system, including but not limited to what types of information or records have been requested, which agencies have made the requests, the percent of requests that were accepted versus denied, temporal trends, the form of the request (e.g. subpoena, warrant, etc.), and whether the requests were granted or denied.
Because this request involves a matter of public concern and because it is made on behalf of a nonprofit organization, we ask that you waive any fees. If you decide not to waive fees, we request that you permit us to examine, at our election, the responsive documents before deciding which portions to transmit. We prefer the documents in electronic format.
Should you determine that some portion of the documents requested are exempt from disclosure, please release any reasonably segregable portions that are not exempt. In addition, please note the applicable statutory exemption and explain why it applies to the redacted portions. As you know, a custodian of public records shall comply with a request within ten days after receipt. Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter.
I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 days.
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